Street Racing Suspects to Face Murder and DUI Charges

Vincent Lopez, 30, and Victor Hugo Sanchez, 34, were allegedly street racing in West Covina during a fatal crash that killed a 90-year-old woman.

Two motorists accused of street racing in West Covina and causing a crash that killed a 90-year-old woman on Christmas night were charged today with murder and drunken driving.

Vincent Lopez, 30, and Victor Hugo Sanchez, 34, were tentatively scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Pomona, although Lopez remains hospitalized.

The pair are accused of taking part in a street race Tuesday night that ended when Lopez's vehicle slammed into a van, killing Cilia La Torre, who was in a wheelchair in the back of the van.

La Torre had just been released from Queen of the Valley Hospital and was sitting in the wheelchair in the van being driven by her son, Jaime Ochoa, police said.

The woman was thrown from the van by the impact of the crash, and pronounced dead at the scene. Ochoa was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where he was treated for head trauma, authorities said.

Police said Lopez and Sanchez were seen street racing on Lark Ellen Avenue in West Covina at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, moments before the crash.

Prior to the crash, witnesses reported seeing Lopez and Sanchez run a stop sign at the corner of Lark Ellen and Merced avenues, near the collision site, police said.

Both had been drinking in a bar in the 200 block of South Glendora Avenue about an hour before the crash, detectives said.

Following the crash, Lopez was taken to the Queen of the Valley Hospital for treatment of leg injuries. Sanchez was arrested several hours later.

Both men face sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted.


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